I just faced one of my nightmares!when I booked my short trip to attend my cousins wedding in Mozambique, I was suspicious on booking with LAM. Attempting to save my SAA Voyager Miles for a further destination (USA), I decided to hunt for a competitive flight. LAM charge a mere R10 with couple of thousands for the airport tax (go figure). Despite lacking confidence in the airline, their revamped and easy to use website convinced me otherwise, and I cautiously booked the flight. Once I’ve received the flight details, I squinted at the aircrafts listed, and my heart just sank!the return trip had a weird model, and I just knew that this is going to be a fun ride back.
I have nothing bad to say about the airline. Trip from Jhb to Maputo was quick and easy. I got there a little early, so the Bidvest Lounge hosted me again with nothing short of professionalism. Boarding the ‘old’ Jet Plane was as normal as boarding the regular Mango/1Time airlines. Seats were VERY comfy, almost business class like. Do you remember the time before low cost airlines, the seats of planes were ‘normal’ size, well, this was it. Normal sized seats. Not even long-haul flights to Dubai/London have them as wide as this nowadays. The Landing was a little bumpy, which I felt was due to the seemingly slightly lower grade pilot. Otherwise all good.
Chilled with the cousins most of the day. Helped with some last minute preparations, collected some suits, etc. Seeing my nephew Mohamed Mikaeel for the first time was a blessing. Nikkah took place after the Zuhr Salaah, and thereafter a nice lunch with the Molanas, and then got into the Mozambican groove of afternoon siesta. The ‘White’ Wedding (no pun intended) was lovely, really posh, had good food, and had nice time with the family.
Preparing to fly back the next morning was just dragging on. I don’t think I’ve missed my wife this much before in my travels!so every 10 mins was just dragging. Check-in was quick and easy again, handled with much courtesy. Then I hit the tarmac!!..and seen this!!!!!!..
Arrrrrrrgh!!! NO!!! Propellers!!!! PROPELLERS!!!!
I boarded, tried to fit my only piece of luggage in the top compartments, and it doesn’t fit! Flight Attendant quickly placed the hand luggage under the seat, but there went my leg space!
I took my window seat and started praying that no one sits next to me, but I think I was not praying loud enough, as I looked up to see a FAT MAN glancing down at me. HOW WORSE can this get?! He pulls the middle arm rest up, sits down, tries to get snugly at my expense, and asks the attendant for a seatbelt extension. OMG..i was SQUASHED against the window. I think he was occupying 1/3 of my seat. And these ones are already narrow.
The doors closed and the propellers started turning. I felt the vibration, and grapped my one armrest tightly..no other armrest, see! it disappeared behind a layer of flubber. Plane took off quite quickly, with vibrations running through my feet and hands. Did not like it AT ALL!! As the plane stabilized in the air, I looked back and to my luck seen the seats empty. I asked my seat sharer whether I can move to the back. He was understanding and said that he will move. He did and I could breathe again. I could also now pull out my laptop and type this blog.
Landed!not too bad. Much better than the last trips JET landing. In conclusion, I was forced to face one of my fears, and although I’m now no longer afraid of the rotors, I will try not to travel in one of them in future trips.